322 HISTORY OF PERSIA CHAP. disloyal tribesmen had not rallied round the throne ; consequently no resistance was offered, and Kum, Kashan, and Kazvin all opened their gates. As a set-off to these achievements, Mahmud was informed that treasure equiva- lent to £300,000, which he had despatched to Kandahar to be spent in recruiting his army, had been plundered by a Sistan chief. Nor was this the Afghan monarch's only embarrassment. The Will of Peter the Great.—Among the mysteries of European history is the celebrated will of Peter the Great. It is generally believed to have been published in Europe through the instrumentality of the notorious Chevalier d'Eon, who obtained it in 1755 while he was acting as reader to Catherine the Great. It has been pronounced apocryphal, but by Persians and by many Russians its genuineness is not doubted. Even if it is not the actual political testament of Peter, it is accepted as embodying the national aspirations of Russia in the first half of the eighteenth century, and as such it deserves to be studied.1 Its tenor is uniformly aggressive, Russia being urged to aim at almost universal dominion. "We are here chiefly dealing with the instructions concerning Persia, which are as follows : Cc Excite continual wars, not only in Turkey but in Persia." And again: "Sweden being dismembered, Persia subjugated, etc." These words are known to every educated son of Iran through a Persian translation and ring like a knell in his ears. Thus the will of Peter the Great, although scarcely known in western Europe, constitutes, so far as Persia is concerned, an instrument of policy the influence of which can hardly be overestimated. The Capture of Derbent by Peter > A.H. 1135 (1722). —At this period Peter the Great had finally triumphed over Sweden and was free to turn his arms elsewhere. Accordingly he hastened to profit by the weakness of Persia. While the Safavi dynasty was in its death-throes, he had sent .an embassy to Shah Husayn which, on its arrival, presented itself to the victorious Afghans, demand- ing redress for alleged grievances, among which were the 1 It is printed in full at the end of this chapter.